Do you have to walk on eggshells around your child, careful not to set him or her off in the wrong direction? Do you find yourself trying to gauge your child’s response to many daily activities ahead of time so you are prepared for every possible outburst? Sure, there are tantruming stages, and we all have to figure out how to handle those, but if the micromanaging goes way beyond a stage and has become part of your daily routine, maybe it is something to take a good look at. It is not only stressful for you and your child. It is stressful for the whole family!
Some children have a great deal of internal noise that they cannot regulate on their own. These children always seem to be amped up. Some of these children go all day and then collapse. Others go all day and into the night because they cannot settle themselves down enough to find their way towards sleep. Either way, there are no gears. There is an “on” switch and an “off” switch, and nothing in between. You cannot self-regulate from this place, which gives you the feeling of being out of control. And when children feel out of control, they usually show it!
So, what might this “noise” look like in a child? These children may be drawn to loud, chaotic environments, creating chaos wherever they go OR they might completely shut down when there is a lot of noise or a crowded situation. Either way, the response will be extreme. There might be self-control issues, sometimes manifested very physically. And, in other cases, it will go the other way and manifest itself in more obsessive behavior where everything must be “just so.” These children will often feel rigid when you hug them and will sit with very straight backs, creating further noise in their systems. Some of them will be w-sitters because it lends itself to a very stationary position, one you cannot move easily from, yet another way to make noise in the system. There are countless scenarios, but you get the idea!
The big question is then, What is there to be done? This “noise” can be quieted by accessing and calming the energy and nervous systems using small, gentle movements. Because the “noise” is a habit, the changes need to be made in the brain so that they can be systemic, quieting the whole child. The Feldenkrais Method does exactly this! And the results can be accessed immediately...even during the very first lesson! Children are amazing! They take on the changes so quickly and so wholly that it is sometimes astounding. I have had kids with serious speech delays say new words during the first lesson. I have seen babies who haven’t been rolling over begin to roll freely and even army crawl across the room in a single session. And every child I see begins to breathe more fully and more freely from the very first time we meet. Feldenkrais feels good in their bodies and so they take it on in the only way they know how...wholly!
And once the noise is quieted and the patterns change over time, there will be a sense of ease present that makes everything simpler and more fluid. You will notice a freedom in your child you have not seen before. Your child’s personality will shine through in a way that will allow you to know him or her on a deeper level. You will now notice how much stress this has caused in your child, in you and perhaps in the whole family because that stress will disappear, and everything will seem easier. A parent once said to me, “What a gift! I am finally getting to know my child for the first time in his life!” That child was 11 years old! And those of you who know me know that I am on this journey for very personal reasons and witnessing these transformations over the years has been my magnificent gift! If this sounds like your child, please give me a call or set up a consultation today.
Lynn Kenny is a Guild-Certified Feldenkrais Practitioner with offices in Poughkeepsie, Cold Spring, and Bloomingburg. She works with children and adults of all ages. You can contact her through this website, on the Waddle n Swaddle Provider page, or through Facebook.